There’s a big debate about whether or not to vaccinate your children, whether they cause other conditions, and whether or not they are even necessary. Whatever your position is on the debate, West Valley Med wants you to be as informed as possible on the subject so that you can make the right decision. The health of the children in the Peoria area is important to our family practice, so here’s some information about vaccines we think is important to know.

What is a Vaccine?

Family Practice PeoriaVaccines work similarly to a flu shot, which is another type of vaccine. Our immune system recognizes germs in our bodies and will produce antibodies the right the foreign substance. When our family practice gives vaccinations, it is a weakened version or similar version of the virus. This weakened version doesn’t produce any signs or symptoms of the disease; however, our bodies will stimulate the immune system in order to create the antibodies. If you or your child are ever exposed to the disease in the future, the antibodies that were created will fight off the disease, including serious childhood diseases.

Are They Safe?

Overall, vaccines are safe. By vaccinating your children, you are giving them protection that outweighs any risk of serious problems, which is very small. Vaccines have made diseases like polio, mumps, whooping cough, measles, and diphtheria very rare today. If you have any questions about vaccines, you can always give our family practice a call or schedule an appointment.

Are There Side Effects?

Although mild, there may be some side effects such as fever, soreness, or a lump where the shot was injected. Again, feel free to schedule an appointment with us if there are any questions. We are more than happy to consult with you.

When Should Children be Vaccinated?

Family Practice PeoriaMany vaccines are given to children from birth through the age of four or six years.

  • Hepatitis B Vaccine: This vaccination is also seen as HepB and is commonly given in three parts. The first is given shortly after birth; the second between one and two months old; and the third is between six and 18 months. The vaccine works to prevent chronic liver disease and liver cancer.
  • DTaP: This vaccine protects children against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis, or whooping cough. DTaP is given in five parts: two months, four months, six months, between 15 and 18 months, and between four and six years old.
  • Rotavirus: RV prevents vomiting and diarrhea in young children and is usually given at two, four, and six months of age.
  • PCV: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protect children against infections such as pneumonia, blood infections, and bacterial meningitis. This vaccine is given in four parts: two, four, and six months and then between 12 and 15 months.

Other vaccines that children commonly receive are IPV, MMR, Varicella, and HBV. In some cases, when children have types of cancer or diseases, or who take drugs that may lower their bodies ability to stop an infection, doctors may recommend a specific course of action. When you make an appointment at our family practice, we will have a conversation about your situation.

Most of all, our family practice cares about the health of your children and the kids they come in contact with. If you just had a baby, give us a call today to discuss vaccinating your child.